As part of our minimalist Christmas this year, we ditched the gift wrap and opted to follow the gift sack tradition. What are Santa Gift Sacks? They are large, reusable fabric drawstring gift sacks, and can be made out of a pillowcase, laundry bag, or sized to suit custom dimensions from a fabric of choice. This Australian Christmas tradition (also used in other parts of the world) was created to solve for households that didn’t have a Christmas tree. Children would leave their pillowcases at the end of their bed so Santa would know where to leave the gifts on Christmas Eve. The biggest benefit behind the idea is that there’s no wrapping of gifts. Everything for the recipient goes right into the bag.
Screen printed Santa Sacks are sold commercially, and consumers can find these both online as well as in retail stores. But they are pricey, and personalization will cost extra. For the DIYers, sites like Etsy.com and Craftsy.com offer handmade done-for-you options, as well as downloadable artwork (svg / cut files) folks can use to create iron-on transfers with vinyl and other adhesive media.
We wanted a more traditional look, and opted for machine embroidery. There aren't currently many turnkey options available for larger designs, so I created one to share with others who might like to try it out. (Note: the design does not include a pattern for creating the sack out of a fabric of your choice. Please check out Craftsy.com or visit your local craft store, like Hobby Lobby or Jo-Ann if you need one.)
The sacks pictured above were made from materials found at Dollar Tree including one 25 ft paracord bundle in red, and neutral-colored 20" x 30" pillowcases that came 2 to a package. I opened the seams on the pillowcases to complete the embroidery step, and then added a casing for the drawstring. It took about 2 hours to complete the embroidery for each bag. I was able to make the 3 pictured above in one evening while multi-tasking on other projects while the design stitched itself. It is a single color design with no stops. I used cut-away stabilizer. The design size fits Viking's 260.00mm x 200.00mm hoop, and the dimensions are 7.59"(w) X 9.83"(h) (192.7 X 249.6mm). One final tip: if you need a nifty tutorial on how to tie a cool paracord knot for your cinch, check out this video on youtube. In the feature photo, the drawstring ends were tied in this manner, with ends frayed up to the knot to create a tassel effect.
In full disclosure, I am a hobbyist (new to embroidery), not an IT support line, professional digitizer or graphic artist. I don't troubleshoot machine problems, software problems, download problems, thread problems, design problems, density problems, fabric problems, hoop problems, stabilizer problems, needle problems, or convert / resize files to split or fit other uses. The design shared below features all elements of the layout with space for the name left blank to fill in your own personalization choice. Use at your own risk and for your own enjoyment. You may use this design to make gifts for others or to make products to sell. You may not claim this design as your own creation or resell the design itself.
If you like the font used for the name, you can find it at dafont.com. It is called Collegiate FLF.
If you use the file to create your own Santa Sack, please stop back by and leave a picture of your work in the comments.
Happy Holidays! Oh, and by the way, if you need help with buying or selling real estate and have often wished for a Realtor® who could appreciate YOUR embroidery work, I'm your girl!